In A Vase on Monday: Harvest of Roses

R. "Crown Princess Margareta"

R. “Crown Princess Margareta”


Roses.  Sweetly fragrant, full-petaled, vividly colored roses.

What more is there to say?


R. "Golden Celebration" to the left, and R. "Lady of Shallott" to the right.  Perennial Geranium in the center

R. “Golden Celebration” to the left, and R. “Lady of Shallott” to the right


Ten months of the year, you might hear me nattering on about the importance of interesting foliage in a garden.  I’ll tell you that flowers are short lived and that unusually colorful leaves and interesting structure carry us through the gardening year.  I’ll go on about Caladiums and Begonias, Hosta and Coleus.

But then the Iris, roses, peonies and geraniums open in May; their perfume carried on the warm morning breezes; and I know the truth of it.  


May 11, 2015 vase 008~

I love these fragrant beauties, and savor our early summer days when they fill the garden with beautiful abundance.  These roses are all English shrub roses,  bred and marketed by Englishman David Austin and his family.


R. "Lady of Shallott" yesterday afternoon

R. “Lady of Shallott” yesterday afternoon


When adding a rose to the garden I nearly always choose one of David Austin’s introductions because they outperform other roses in every way.  The shrubs resist disease and need virtually no spraying; they grow prolifically; bloom generously; and retain strong, delicious old-world rose fragrances.  Many can be purchased growing on their own roots.   And the forms of the fully opened roses are gorgeous.  These plump buds full of petals open into intricate patterns and last for many days.


May 11, 2015 vase 005


Today’s vase holds R. “Golden Celebration,”   R. “Crown Princess Margareta”  and R. “Lady of Shallott.”

Last May Barbara, of Silver in the Barn, brought me a clump of Siberian Iris from her garden, and now they are covered in blooms.


May 11, 2015 vase 006


I cut three for today’s vase. Barbara is one of my true gardening sisters.  And like a good sister, she knows what I need without me even speaking of it.


Siberian Iris given to us by Barbara and her husband last May; now blooming abundantly.

Siberian Iris given to us by Barbara and her husband last May; now blooming abundantly.


She brought me these beautiful Iris  which perfectly replace some favorite Siberian Iris left behind in a former garden.

I’ve missed them sorely, and am thrilled to have these transplanted from her garden to mine.

A few stems of perennial Geranium found their way into the vase today, because I loved their violet pink flowers against today’s roses.  There is also Artemesia and some lovely anise scented fennel leaves tucked in around the other stems.


May 11, 2015 vase 002


Today’s vase is an heirloom family piece which normally sits empty on top of the china cabinet.  It was dusted off and pressed into service to hold the roses today. Today’s mineral is an unusual cluster  of Amethyst spirit quartz.


May 11, 2015 vase 008


Another gardening sister visited yesterday, and after coffee we went together out into the garden to cut roses for her for Mother’s Day.   We were celebrating the healthy birth of her newest grandson, only a day old yesterday.  This morning, she sent me photos of the lovely arrangement she made with the roses, which you will enjoy, too.



Many thanks to Cathy for hosting In A Vase On Monday each week.  She has returned from her travels, and I hope you will visit her to see what is blooming in her garden this week and to follow the links in her comments to many other beautiful May arrangements.

Cathy has gone all “raspberry” on us today, and the results are truly spectacular!

We’ve had off and on rain for nearly two days now, thanks to Ana off the  East Coast.  It is working its way northwards and then out to sea.

It was raining as I cut these stems today, and the skies opened once I was finished and back inside.  Drops of rain still lingered as I took photos of today’s vase.


May 11, 2015 vase 007


We’ve such an abundance of flowers now that I may be inspired to cut and arrange more than once a week for a while.

One day the technology will progress enough that I can record the wonderful fragrance of this vase as easily as I can attach a clip of background music today.

Until then, I hope your imagination will supply the fragrance… or better yet, that you are enjoying roses in your own garden today, too.


May 10, 2015 Roses 005

Woodland Gnome 2015


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

22 responses to “In A Vase on Monday: Harvest of Roses

  1. I too adore David Austin roses, all the shapes and perfumes of old fashioned roses but with more vigour. Yours are so pretty and look gorgeous with with the lovely irises. Have you tried growing them from seed? I have some babies which I am very excited about them. I wonder if they come true.

    • Chloris, I admire you so much for growing roses from seeds 😉 No, I’ve not tried, and have not been successful growing them from cuttings, either. All of Austin’s are hybrids, and so I would assume that seeds produced on his shrubs would be further hybrids, and different from the mother rose. Could be a very interesting and wonderful difference, however 😉 How old are the babies you are raising? How exciting to wait for them to bloom 😉 One of my favorite roses is R. “Souvenir de la Malmaison,” an old Bourbon rose with amazing fragrance which can literally cover an acre of land, if you allow it! I grew it once and pegged down the long canes in the second year, which all rooted. It grew up into a huge old crepe myrtle tree and filled it with flowers! The downside was that spring rains mildewed many of the buds each year. Austin has gotten us past many of the cultural issues of these old roses- while retaining the fragrance, color, and beautiful form of the flowers. What an incredible life’s work to pass on to all of us who love roses! May your garden be filled to the brim with beautiful flowers this May ❤ ❤ WG

      • I expressed my self badly I meant I have lots of Iris sibirica babies. I have grown roses from seed but so far I haven’ t tried it with any David Austin roses. I love Souvenir de la Malmaison but I don’ t grow it any more because the rain always ruins the buds and they go mouldy without opening.

        • Oh 😉 Thank you for clarifying that 😉 Iris babies 😉 Yes, they should come true and populate your beds with beauty 😉 Isn’t it ironic how we get these rains each year just as everything opens?

  2. What a gorgeous rose, and Injust love the combination of peachy roses and irises! Lovely arrangement again! 🙂

  3. Boy, are you one good rose salesperson. I found myself striving to catch the fragrance . . . .

  4. Beautiful vase and that is truly one spectacular rose bush! I can’t get over how many blooms it has. You’re making me reconsider roses, which I generally dislike because they are so fussy, prone to fungal disease and have gawd-awful thorns! I’ll have to follow the above link!

    • Eliza, these roses will likely perform even better for you than they perform for me, as you’re garden is likely far less humid than mine. Humidity allows the diseases to infest a shrub, as you know, and so it is harder to keep them disease free in the southern US than in England, where these roses are born. (?) But the roses sold in the US are propagated and grown on here, I believe…. and they are amazingly disease resistant. You know I hate to spray anything on plants, and keep an organic 3 in 1 for emergencies only. I just rake under these plants during spring clean up and then lay down fresh compost and Espoma Rose Tone. I also give them a good handful of Epsom Salts early one in the season, sprinkled under their drip line. That is it, other than deadheading and summer pruning as needed. They simply aren’t fussy- I know you love roses, too, Eliza 😉 What is your favorite color of rose? 😉 Austin has out two books now on his roses- both are beautifully illustrated and very enlightening to read- if your library has either, you might enjoy taking a look before making a decision about whether, and which to order 😉 WG

      • I’ve always fancied the red/white cabbage roses. I’ll look into it, it would be a matter of finding an ideal, sunny place for it. There’s a nursery nearby that sell DA roses.

        • You are blessed if you have a nursery which sells them already growing in pots. Always nicer to pick your own plant than to get whatever someone throws in a box to fill your order 😉 And, so often potted DA roses are already in bloom. I bought them that way in Va B where I had a good nursery nearby. All you need is 4 sq. feet of sunny real estate 😉

  5. Your roses are a delight. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hello E., I am just reading happily along and then I see mention of me and my status as “gardening sister.” How fabulous is that? I really like that and plan to use it henceforth. OK, thrilled that the iris are doing so well for you – mine are OUT OF THIS WORLD this year. I’ll post some when I do May’s Monthly Photo Challenge. I’ve never seen them better. And speaking of iris, all the beardeds are out of control too. Just the best ever. Really makes me happy. I told you I finally bought my first David Austin – it s a climber called St. Swithun. The first little buds are fattening on it now. I so hope it has the bloom characteristics of yours with those deeply layered blossoms. OK, sis, until next time! Thanks for a lovely post.

    • I had never heard of St. Swithun, and thought that celebrating his day was one of my partner’s great jokes from school days, until seeing this R. St. Swithun in the Austin catalog! What an amazing rose, Barbara, and I’m so happy you’ve brought one home to your garden to enjoy! David Austin roses sometimes get off to a slow start and may take three years to really show you what they are about as shrubs, and to attain full flower size. But once they have established, Wow! I hope you enjoy its beautiful flowers all season, Sis! Can’t wait to see photos of your Iris. This has been a very special spring season for abundant and vivid flowers! Maybe these plants like the crazy cold wet winter we endured. Who would expect them to perform so well after that ordeal? I’m just glad your garden is slit up with great flowers this month, too, Barbara 😉 And Thank You again for the wonderful clump of Siberian Iris.. After bloom, they will likely get spread around a bit more…. ❤ ❤

      • The last time we were in Maine in high summer I couldn’t help but marvel at how stupendous all the perennials were. I think a long hard winter does them good somehow. This is based on nothing more than observation. You know I am not keen on actually basing my impressions on actual fact. How funny that S. told you about St. Swithun before. The rose link you provided says there is a strong smell of myrrh in this rose. Whatever that is, I can’t wait to sniff it and report. OK, I have got to get work now. Garden club ladies coming tonight and the place is a wreck. The garden, however, looks awesome!!!

  7. Just visited a garden that did a really good job of working roses into the borders so that they showed to their very best advantage.

  8. Your Lady of Shallott in particular is stunning, and it is lovely to see roses in people’s vases again – won’t be long before you see them in mine 🙂 Your amethyst spirit quartz is a beautiful specimen…

  9. farseems

    I have so fallen in love ……..with these roses of yours Elizabeth. Where can I obtain them from, the David Austins that you mention.

    • I knew you would fall in love with their fragrance and soft colors 😉 I’ve given links back to David Austin’s site where they may be ordered. I also can find them sometimes in pots at McDonald’s Garden Center… but the main stores in Hampton or VA Beach, never the satellite stores here. I order mine bareroot in spring, but it may be too late now in the season for that. At least you can see them all on the website, and you may borrow my book of photos if you’d like. ❤

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